By the American Maritime Partnership.

WASHINGTON & JACKSONVILLE, FL (May 22, 2023) – The American Maritime Partnership (AMP), the voice of the domestic maritime industry, today recognizes the critical importance of the economic and national security benefits the 650,000 men and women of American Maritime deliver to the nation.

“This National Maritime Day we are reminded that America, from sea to shining sea, needs a strong domestic maritime industry amid continuing economic challenges and growing national security threats,” said Ku’uhaku Park, President of the American Maritime Partnership“Today is a day to thank our mariners and maritime workers for their sacrifices during wars, the pandemic, and other national emergencies. Though America is increasingly divided, there is one thing everyone can agree on – we cannot rely on China and Russia to build, own and crew our ships. The Jones Act fleet has served the country time and again and we are honored to represent an industry that serves such a vital economic purpose in securing hundreds of thousands of jobs, while proving an asset to America’s national security and resilience.”

The maritime industry in the United States is supported by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, popularly known as the Jones Act. A foundational domestic and national security law that requires that the transportation of cargo between all U.S. points be carried by American-built, American-crewed and American-owned vessels.

AMP joined the Florida Maritime Partnership and Enterprise Florida in Jacksonville, Florida to recognize the critical role of the Jones Act in the Sunshine State and nationally. Florida ranks number two in the nation for the number of domestic maritime jobs, employing over 65,990 people and producing $14.6 billion annually for the state’s economy.

Florida Commerce Secretary Laura DiBella was joined by representatives from the American Maritime Partnership, Florida Maritime Partnership, JAXPORT, Crowley and TOTE to celebrate National Maritime Day in Jacksonville, FL.
Florida Commerce Secretary Laura DiBella was joined by representatives from the American Maritime Partnership, Florida Maritime Partnership, JAXPORT, Crowley and TOTE to celebrate National Maritime Day in Jacksonville, FL.

What Leaders Are Saying

White House Proclamation by President Joe Biden – “My Administration remains steadfast in its support of the Merchant Marine as well as the Jones Act, which ensures American workers see the benefits of our domestic maritime industry.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – “This National Maritime Day, I want to recognize the more than 56,000 Texans who work in our thriving maritime industry. Texas’ domestic maritime industry accounts for more than $14 billion in economic output while playing a vital role in protecting our national security interests.”

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington – “On National Maritime Day, we recognize the vital importance of the U.S. maritime transportation system to our nation’s economy and security. The maritime industry sustains 22,500 jobs and generates $6.1 billion of economic activity in the State of Washington. From cultivating our workforce and supporting shipyards, to expanding our seafood sector, we must actively support, nurture and grow our domestic maritime industry and the dedicated individuals who contribute to its success.”

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi – “On this Maritime Day, we recognize the vital work of our mariners to safeguard our nation’s security. In times of conflict, we cannot afford to lose the ability to transport troops and materials where they are required.”

U.S. Senator JD Vance of Ohio – “On this National Maritime Day, we honor the thousands of Ohioans who work in maritime roles on the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. These amazing bodies of water not only define our state by shaping its borders and boundaries, but they account for billions of dollars in economic impact every year. I have no doubt that our waterways will continue to play a vital role in growing our state’s economy and enriching the lives of all Ohioans.”

U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan – “Today is National Maritime Day. So I just want to take a moment to thank all of our dedicated maritime workers in Michigan who power our state’s robust maritime industry and help keep us economically competitive on the world stage. Your work is invaluable to our community. So please know that I’m working to ensure you have the support and the resources you need to be successful.”

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – “Alaska’s maritime workforce is responsible for thousands of Alaskan jobs, billions in economic output for our state, and a stronger national security presence. On this National Maritime Day, I’m grateful for the maritime workers who supply Alaskan communities with essentials, protect us from harm, and make our state a better place.”

U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska – “The hard-working men and women of the maritime industry keep our state and our communities connected, our supply chains humming, and support our military’s operations when they are called upon. Happy National Maritime Day!”

U.S. Representative Rick Larsen of Washington – “In [Washington’s Second Congressional District], the maritime sector means jobs & drives long-term economic growth, supporting more than 2,600 jobs & delivering more than $700 million in economic activity annually.

U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin – “The maritime industry is crucial to [Northeast Wisconsin], providing a significant number of jobs and economic activity to the community.”

U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal of California – “Happy National Maritime Day! As the top Democrat on [the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure] Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, I am so appreciative of our merchant mariners who work every day to serve our country.”

Statement by U.S. Representative Shri Thanedar of Michigan – “Congressman Shri Thanedar expresses his utmost appreciation and admiration for the men and women contributing to Michigan’s maritime sector. Their unwavering dedication, expertise, and hard work drive the state’s economic success, creating jobs and stimulating local economies. As an advocate for economic growth and job creation, Congressman Thanedar remains committed to supporting policies that foster the growth and prosperity of the American domestic maritime industry.”

U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas – “American Maritime in Texas’ 10th district generates hundreds of jobs and contributes $136 million to our economy. On National Maritime Day, we recognize and appreciate the important role mariners play in the strength of our nation.”

U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland of Washington – “The maritime industry is a critical economic engine in the region. In order to ensure national and economic security and protect domestic supply chains, I am committed to supporting a strong maritime industry in the South Sound.”

U.S. Representative Randy Weber of Texas – “From our sailors and captains to shipbuilders and port workers, this day is a tribute to their unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions. Our maritime industry is critical to our economy and national security.”

U.S. Representative Jack Bergman of Michigan – “Michigan’s First Congressional District is home to shipyard workers in Menominee, dock workers in Marquette, lock operators in the Soo, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, and sailors throughout the District. They are woven into the fabric of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, powering our economy and connecting our past with our future.”

U.S. Representative Daniel Webster of Florida – “Today, on National Maritime Day, we honor the history and highlight the importance of our country’s maritime industry on our economic and national security. In my district, the maritime industry supports over 1200 jobs and $150 million in economic activity.”

U.S. Representative Rob Wittman of Virginia – “The U.S. Maritime Industry plays an important role in Virginia’s economy and workforce, especially in the First District. The recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers emphasizes the contributions a strong Maritime Industry has in the success of coastal states such as Virginia, and we must continue to promote measures that enhance their efforts in growing our economy and supporting our Armed Forces. I’m proud to recognize the Maritime Industry on National Maritime Day for their success in building the Commonwealth’s economy and job market, and strengthening our national security, and I thank them for everything they do.”

U.S. Representative Clay Higgins of Louisiana – “Maritime infrastructure plays a significant role in South Louisiana’s economy. Our district is a testament to the importance of the maritime industry in preserving our heritage, bolstering our national security, and supporting thousands of good-paying American jobs.’ The Jones Act ensures a skilled maritime workforce that stands ready to support our national defense and commerce by providing a strong domestic shipbuilding industry and a reliable skilled workforce. My office has made dredging and proper maintenance of water management systems a top infrastructure priority as ports and waterways are vital economic engines that serve our waterways. We’ll continue to advocate for the needs of our ports and maritime assets by working with industry, state, and federal partners to improve dredging efforts and grow commercial activity for the region.”

U.S. Representative Adam Smith of Washington – “It’s National Maritime Day! The maritime industry is so important to our national economy and security and is a pillar of our economy here in Washington State. In the 9th District alone, the maritime industry supports 3,300 jobs and $1.02 billion in economic activity.”

U.S. Representative Aaron Bean of Florida – “This National Maritime Day, I want to recognize the more than 65,900 Floridians who work in our thriving maritime industry. Florida’s domestic maritime industry accounts for more than $14.6 billion in economic output & plays a vital role in protecting our national security.”

U.S. Representative Dave Joyce of Ohio – “Happy National Maritime Day. Today is a celebration of our nation’s maritime industry responsible for safely carrying commerce across our waters. Thank you to all those who serve on a Maritime Marine ship.”

General Jacqueline Van Ovost, Commander of U.S. Transportation Command – “The U.S. maritime industry lies on the leading edge of our economic prosperity and rides the bow waves into the fight when called upon. The strategic advantage of our Merchant Mariners and Strategic Sealift Officers is critical to force projection and ‘fight tonight’ readiness.”

Rear Admiral Michael Wettlaufer, Military Sealift Command Commander – “The Department of Defense depends on the Merchant Marine to support 90 percent of our sealift requirements in national emergency, crisis or conflict. Long serving as our nation’s ‘fourth arm of defense,’ American mariners bravely faced combatants and pirates, pandemics and natural disasters. They answer the call to serve their fellow Americans in ways and in places many of our fellow citizens don’t know about. Today, and every day, we honor our American mariners, especially our MSC Civil Service Mariners, past and present, courageous women and men who serve our nation.”

Dan Maffei, Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission – “We would never have gotten through the last crisis without America’s civilian transportation workers. And the Covid crisis did remind us that we live in a world where pandemics wars, natural disasters, economic calamities, or some other big event, could strike us with little warming. And in that uncertain world, the need for a strong US merchant marine with the best trained U.S. seafarers serving on U.S. flag ships is more important than ever.”

Laura DiBella, Florida Secretary of Commerce & CEO of Enterprise Florida – “Our nation would not be where it is today without its robust maritime industry. Economic development would not exist without maritime as there are not enough planes, trains, or trucks on this planet to support the amount of cargo moved by ships. This industry is an important economic driver for the state, and it is crucial to move goods throughout the country. Enterprise Florida is proud to celebrate National Maritime Day and those who have dedicated their careers to serving others.”

Mike Stevens, CEO of the Navy League of the United States – “This National Maritime Day is not just a day to reflect on the legacy of those who have supported our military and moved the goods for every American. This year, and in the face of the threats we face, we should renew our commitment to ensuring a maritime capacity that ensures American strength and resilience.”

Jim Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers’ Association and Vice President of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force – “The Great Lakes Navigation System is the pilot light of North American manufacturing.  In addition to supplying our steel mills, flour mills, power plants, and construction industry, we deliver family-sustaining jobs. The women and men who sail our Fourth Sea Coast are the bedrock of our regional supply chain. The Jones Act ensures our American-made, American-owned, and American-crewed lakers protect our national economy from China, Russia, and other adversaries.”

Joey D’Isernia, CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc – “As we recognize National Maritime Day, Eastern Shipbuilding Group is proud to be a leader in Florida’s growing presence in the maritime industry. We are the largest employer in NWFL with shipyards across the gulf that support major commercial and government shipbuilding programs. As the prime for the Offshore Patrol Cutter, our company supports more than 200 hundred businesses in more than half of the United States and provides tremendous economic opportunity to our area. This is an industry we must continue to innovate and promote for our national and economic security.”

National Economic Impact of the Jones Act

According to the findings of a recently updated study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Transportation Institute (TI), the American Maritime industry:

  • Contributes more than $154 billion in total economic output annually
  • Creates $41 billion in labor income for American workers each year
  • Adds $72 billion annually to the value of U.S. economic output
  • Sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, with one shipyard job creating four jobs elsewhere in the economy.

To learn more about how your state plays a role in securing a strong, domestic maritime industry click here.

More on National Maritime Day

May 22 was declared National Maritime Day in 1933 to honor the SS Savannah’s departure from Georgia to England in 1819 to become the first successful steam-powered ship to successfully cross any ocean. Since the SS Savannah’s ocean voyage, the American maritime industry has served as a critical economic engine in the United States and an essential partner with U.S. armed forces in local and global waterways.

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American Maritime Partnership (AMP) is the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry, a pillar of our nation’s economic, national, and homeland security. More than 40,000 American vessels built in American shipyards, crewed by American mariners, and owned by American companies, operate in our waters 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You can learn more by visiting www.american maritime